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‘We rode on good roads, no roads, and muddy, slushy roads’

9:39 AM, Friday, October 13th, 2017
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nishanth chandhMangaluru: “Thirty-plus days, 3,900-plus km and three shades darker.” So read the caption of a selfie taken at Kanyakumari by Nishant Chand, a young and enthusiastic cyclist from Mangaluru, recently.

The avid cyclist, now working with Decathlon Anubhava, Bengaluru, was on a S2K (Shimla to Kanyakumari) ride from September 3 along with his colleague Stan S. Philips to spread awareness about the benefits of cycling, promote bicycle touring, testing Decathlon’s new range of bicycles as well as to conduct cycling workshops in 13 Decathlon stores along the route.

Beginning the ride on September 3 at Shimla, the duo rode 3,900 km in all before reaching Kanyakumari on October 6 with six days of rest in between, Mr. Chand told The Hindu. They did not miss any kind of road, he said, adding: “We rode on good roads, no roads, muddy roads, slushy roads and almost all the tracks possible.”

It also offered the riders to experience vagaries of nature, from cold to hot, from rainy to humid, along the route. While they experienced extreme heat in Rajasthan and Gujarat, they were welcomed by heavy rain in Maharashtra. The heat was so much that the upper road layer used to get stuck to wheels making the ride difficult. En route, the duo met many people, particularly youngsters and students and motivated them to take up cycling as a hobby for better health as well as for regular commuting to reduce carbon footprint.

Mr. Chand said they experienced the best as well as the worst riding experience while climbing the Ghat to reach Mahabaleshwar from Pune in Maharashtra. The entire 18-km stretch of the Ghat comprises steep ascent and it tested their agility as well as cadence, he said.

While the riders travelled an average 150 km per day, their longest ride was 204 km a day from Hubballi to Murdeshwar in Karnataka. On reaching Mangaluru, his hometown, Mr. Chand spent a couple of days with family and friends before proceeding towards Kerala and Kanyakumari.

The riders were seen off by fellow cyclists from Mangalore Bicycle Club (MBC) and Mangalore Cycling Club (MACC) on October 2.

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